Expert Advice

Partnerships Might Be the Best Way to Expand Your Customer Base

May 4, 2020
2 min read

In this blog series, we’ll hear Team Alice members share their areas of expertise that can help you with your business.

Small, independent businesses establish partnerships with other companies every day. Take a look at Texas Party Animals arriving with treats from La Grange bakery Keri’s Kookies to their alpaca bookings. Or take note of fashion designer Kim Shui teaming up with Fitbit to create sleek wristbands for the brand’s smartwatches.

But why should your business consider partnering? One reason is that it can expose your product or service to a wider audience.

“Partnerships offer small business owners the ability to grow their potential audience or customer base,” explains Alise Crain, partnerships operations manager at Hello Alice. “Working with other businesses that have a base audience that would also be interested in your product or service gives value to all parties involved.”

Partnerships allow businesses to expand their reach with potential customers. But your goal doesn’t have to be centered on the financials either — they could also help spread a common social mission. “There is an overlap between partnerships and sales relationships, but I think a key point is that partnerships are often non-monetary, which means sharing the ‘why’ of what you’re doing matters, and the vision of the partnerships you’d like to build together is important,” she says.

Crain, who manages and grows relationships with business support organizations, creates partnerships to help founders gain more access to opportunities. These partnerships enable Hello Alice and its partners to advance a shared mission of helping all founders launch and grow their businesses.

So how should business owners begin their outreach? Networking may be the answer. “Get out digitally and meet people, share what you’re passionate about, what you’re hoping to build, what kind of partnerships could help you, and how you can help your partners,” says Crain. “While cold emailing does work to some degree, an introduction goes a long way.”

There may be a lot of work that goes in to partnerships, such as growing relationships and negotiating agreements, but they’re more achievable than one may think.

“There’s no reason to re-invent the wheel. You don’t need to be an expert in everything, or offer everything,” Crain points out. “Great partnerships complement each business owner’s offerings. Own what you do and what you’re good at, and let partners help in the areas that you don’t specialize in.”

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